The Maintenance of Chronic Illness

One of my new favorite web sites is butyoudon’tlooksick.com. There’s lots of support, but more importantly, there’s a lot of humor too. Living with a chronic invisible illness means that sometimes nothing is funny, even if you really want something to be funny because you hate the funk you’re in, and you need to laugh. 
I take myself way too seriously as it is, but as I learn to live with Fibro, I have found that not only do I need to find that peaceful self with me, I also need to learn to laugh at myself more often. So in addition to reading the forums and comments of other fibromites, I read through the section of “sick humor” and find ways to laugh at myself, the illness, and what day to day life is like with it.
I chuckle at the idea of being a high maintenance sickie, and giggle at the pain scales some of us have decided are more appropriate than the ones at the doctor’s office (see the previous post I stole from Hyperbole & A Half). I laugh along with my fellow foggy headed fibromites as we forget things so we write them down, the we forget where we wrote it down at. I’m learning that you have to laugh at the insanity of some of the symptoms or you’ll just cry.
I had a running joke in my house when my fingernails started turning blue and I was eventually put on oxygen. I’d look down at my blue hands and feet, snicker and start singing “i’m blue…da da dee da da dooo” (Blue by Eiffel 65 ~ Video at the end of the post). Occasionally, I still bust out in song if a storm is coming, or I just turn blue for some reason.
Another running joke is that I can’t get too cold or we’ll all hear “clankity-clankity-clankity” (my left hip is made entirely out of surgical oxidized something-or-other steel), and I have been known to go around the house mumbling “oooiiiilllll can”. You just have to laugh at the craziness of having had a hip replacement at 34, and the fact that I set off the metal detectors about half the time.
So, I’m learning it’s okay to be a little higher maintenance. If I’m having a rough day, a pedicure is not *that* much of an indulgence. Our new house in Maryland is going to have a hot tub, and not one person has said “oh, how spoiled are you?!”. Instead, I hear “what a great thing for you to have. That’s going to help you so much!”. 
But my point of all my rambling today is that we could all use being a little higher maintenance sometimes, and especially for those of us that struggle with not only Fibro but all the illnesses that are not readily apparent (MS, arthritis, RA, Lupus), be kind to yourself. Be a little higher maintenance. Spoil yourself once in a while and be especially gentle on the flare days.

Thoughts? Comments? Talk to me!

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